The battery is the most constraining factor in smartphone design for manufacturers so a lot of buzzwords go into their ads, making battery life a difficult thing to shop for. Our reviews have detailed tests, but we decided to come up with a shortlist for those who just need the best, quickly. Here are the Top 10 phones of 2017 based on battery life.
Our Endurance rating should give you a good general guideline, however a single number doesn’t tell the whole story. Some catch up on the latest episodes while commuting, others spend hours browsing the web.
To help your Holiday shopping we compiled a list of recommended phones for those looking to get solid smartphone experience with the best possible battery life.
With a dominating 126h Endurance rating, the sub-€300 Xiaomi Mi Max 2 topped our 2017 charts for battery life. All thanks to its massive 5,300mAh battery and efficient Snapdragon 625 chipset. Quick Charge 3.0 will take care of filling the battery back up in no time, too.
This Xiaomi also topped the Web browsing and Video playback charts. Did we mention it has a 6.44” screen? Stuck on a long flight, this is the phone you want. It will play nearly 22 hours of video before the battery dies. And if that plane has Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to stay online for 19 hours.
With 119h Endurance, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 isn’t far behind its large-screened sibling. And it is easily the most affordable phone in the running – the only one below €200. Its 5.5” screen makes it more manageable, while the Snapdragon 625 chipset will provide the same performance as the Max.
This one also came in second in the Web browsing test with an 18 hour time. It will also do over 15 hours of video. Note that the Redmi Note 4 doesn’t come with a quick charger and it can’t do 4K video like the Max. Still, at €100 less we think it’s a great deal.
Borrowing from Samsung’s flagship lines, the Galaxy A7 (2017) offers a 5.7” Super AMOLED display with a superior image quality. It features Always On Display, though that will cut into the Endurance – bringing it down from the stellar 115h to the still solid 80h. A fast charger is included in the box.
Great Web browsing endurance (over 15h) will distract you from taking selfies with the 16MP f/1.9 front camera and instead of watching video for 18h, you can take the Galaxy A7 (2017) to the pool (IP68 waterproofing).
Wow, those are some large phones. Sony’s Xperia XZ1 Compact caters to those who want something more pocketable that still lasts a long time. Pulling 108h Endurance out of a 2,700mAh battery – the smallest here – is quite a magic trick by Sony.
It’s ready to take on the larger Galaxy A7 too with its own IP68 protection and an 8MP camera with Sony’s excellent EIS. It goes toe to toe in the Web test (14h) and Video playback (16h) with the Samsung too. The Snapdragon 835 chipset leaves the Cortex-A53 octet of the Galaxy in the dust, though we wish Sony added a fast charger in the box.
For a true flagship experience, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is up there with the best. The same goes for battery longevity – at 96h, it just squeaks into the Top 10 and beats the Galaxy Note8 (89h) by a whopping 5h in the Web browsing test.
The included 22.5W charger is blazing fast – it charged the 4,000mAh battery to 58% in half an hour. And as promised, you get the flagship treatment with a 6” 18:9 AMOLED screen with HDR10 support, stereo speakers, a top performing chipset and the Leica-branded cameras.
Lasting close to 18 hours of Web browsing, the Oppo F5 comes close to the Xiaomi phones. But unlike them you’ll be browsing on a 6” 18:9 screen with a much better contrast ratio. The phone misses out on the company’s excellent VOOC charger, but has other strengths.
Like the 20MP selfie camera with Bokeh mode. And you can get up to 6GB of RAM for multitasking, though the Helio P23 chipset can’t overcome its mid-range station in life when it comes to gaming.
The Galaxy A7 is a fine phone, but it costs twice as much as the Galaxy J7 (2017). You’re getting very similar Endurance and similar longevity in the individual tests. Plus you get to keep the 1080p AMOLED display (5.5” this time) with Always On support (though enabling it drops the endurance to 72h).
The in-box charger isn’t great, but the J7 holds its own when it comes to selfies with a 13MP f/1.9 camera. The chipset isn’t great for gaming though. Still, you’re getting 80% of the features for 50% of the price, not bad.
You can get more or less the same thing in a smaller package – the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) has a 5.2” screen (note that it’s 720p). Its 11 hours of web browsing won’t break any records, but over 18 hours of video playback is quite impressive.
What if you need long battery life because you won’t be near a wall wart anytime soon? The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active upgrades the IP68 rating of the vanilla S8 with MIL-STD-810G – salt, vibration and thermal shock resistance.
Thanks to the larger 4,000mAh battery you get better Endurance (111h vs. 84h) and better performance on the individual tests too – 4 hours more on both the Web browsing and the Video playback tests. You get a fast charger in the box, but this phone also supports Samsung's fast wireless charging (a charger is a $30-40)
You’re getting all the great features of the S8 – the excellent Super AMOLED screen, the fast 12MP Dual Pixel camera and Snapdragon 835 chipset. Unfortunately (for now) this one is only sold in the US.
With an Endurance rating just over 100 hours, the Xperia XA1 Plus brings the Sony touch without the XZ1 price tag. It has solid performance on Video (over 15h) and Web browsing (over 12h). The included charger is slow, but you can grab a faster Pump Express+ 2.0 compatible charger.
The Xperia XA1 Plus rivals its flagship siblings in photography skills with a 23MP 1/2.3” sensor on the back as well as an 8MP selfie cam with autofocus. It’s not quite XA1 Ultra good, but the difference in battery life is staggering.